Monday, October 6, 2014

what's for dinner

photo credit: Stephen Munday

What's cookin' in Mamatouille's kitchen? 
  • steamed carrots with sea salt
  • shinmai (newly harvested rice from our friends' fields) cooked in the rice cooker with chopped sweet potatoes (from another friend's garden): to turn it into the round shape you see above, just wet a bowl with water, pack the rice in, then turn it upside down (I got the idea of the sweet potatoes with rice from a restaurant lunch date we had the other day). I sprinkled a bit of sea salt on top.
  • sushi-grade tuna that I bought on sale and cooked in the frying pan with olive oil--topped with salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley (the topping was sauteed myoga (related to ginger, but a totally different taste) and chopped green onion)
  • sauteed sliced eringi mushrooms and green beans (olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

curried kabocha-sweet-potato salad

Picnicking? We were, with some lovely Japanese friends and some college students too. It was a gorgeous day, perfect autumn weather, and I was trying to decide what to take to share.

Here's something I kitchen-conjured.

You'll need:
  • 1 large cooked and peeled sweet potato, cut in chunks
  • 1/4 cooked, de-seeded, and chopped medium-sized kabocha (Japanese pumpkin; no need to peel)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, rehydrated with boiled water
  • 1/4 cup Japanese mayo (or whatever you've got) 
  • 3 T. plain yogurt
  • 1 T. milk (I used soy)
  • 2 t. sugar
  • 3/4 t. curry powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. garam masala
  • 1/4 t. powdered ginger
Do this:

Mix it all together and chill. That's it.

Then eat (preferably outdoors with chopsticks and grilled meats and veggies).

Verdict? I took two bowls of it and it went like lightning. I managed to sneak in a few bites and absolutely loved it. Sweet and creamy from the potatoes and kabocha, a bit sour from the cranberries, and perfect fall spiciness from the curry and garam masala.



Sunday, July 20, 2014

veg-full sloppy joes


Sweet potatoes in Japan are purple on the outside, pale yellow on the inside, and great for topping with sloppy joe mix!

Here's a Mamatouille original. (Feeds six easily.)

You'll need:
  • sweet potatoes, cooked (I don't have an oven so I use my microwave)
  • salt and pepper to taste, for the sweet potatoes
  • butter, for the sweet potatoes
  • 700 g ground beef
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 3/4 t. Japanese ground spicy mustard
  • 1 1/2 t. sugar
  • 3 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 T. tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf, torn in half
  • olive oil
  • a puree (done in the food processor) of 1/4 sweet pepper (yellow, red, green, or orange), 2 celery sticks, 1/8 purple cabbage, 4 cloves garlic, 1/2 - 1 onion, 1 carrot
Do this:

Saute the veggie puree in olive oil till almost soft, add the ground beef and stir and cook till no longer pink. Add the rest of the ingredients, plus a bit of water if needed to make it saucy.

Serve over sweet potatoes that have been doctored with butter, salt, and pepper, and enjoy with the familytouille.

no-bake chocolate truffle cake and the green-smoothie antidote

If you want to be chocolate-happy, but you don't have an oven, what do you do? Ask a friend (thanks, Sarah!) for ideas, and make the first recipe that's suggested to you: no-bake chocolate truffle cake.


And if you want a green smoothie later, all you do is grab a blender and toss in: 2 bananas, some pineapple, a carrot, fresh ginger, spinach, 1/2 avocado, water, and okara. I love that pineapple-ginger flavor.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

cut your green-onion time in half

Cut your green-onion cutting time in half while cutting your green onions.

Why didn't I think of this before? Just fold them in half!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

curried deviled eggs

Piping! You've got to try it! I'm not sure I'd ever done it before for deviled eggs, but it was a heck-of-a-lot-of fun. And when the eggs are a yummy recipe from a special Seattle-neighbor-friend, it's even better. (She adapted it from a Food Network recipe.)

You'll need:
  • 12 large eggs, boiled and cold
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (taste and then add more if needed)
Do this:

I boil my eggs with a boiled egg timer till hard (and put plenty of salt and vinegar in the water to help them peel easier), then add ice cubes to the water when finished. I then peel under running water, and they usually come out nicely. (I also use a trick from an American fiction author, Debbie Macomber: when you start to peel the eggs, first tap the widest end where there's a bubble underneath the shell, and it makes it easier.)

Put the peeled eggs in the fridge a few hours or overnight.

After the little babies are chilled, cut them in half lengthwise and mash the yolks with the rest of the ingredients listed. Did I mention piping is a hoot? I also sprinkled a bit of dried parsley on the ones above for a July 4th/friend's birthday party celebration.

Enjoy the curry kick!

anything-goes hamburger fried rice + gingery green smoothie

It's lunchtime! What are you gonna make? Gather all your leftovers from the fridge, cook some rice, grab a frying pan, and you've got yourself a mean fried rice.

Plus a green smoothie: one apple, two bananas, grated ginger, 1/2 lemon, a bit of veggie-fruit juice, okara (soy pulp leftover after making tofu, or you could just use tofu), 1/2 avocado, 1/2 zucchini, spinach, and a bit of water.

For the fried rice, you'll need (or actually, you'll need whatever is leftover in your house):
  • cooked rice
  • chopped ham
  • sliced pork, chopped small
  • leftover hamburger, chopped tiny
  • leftover chopped cooked carrot and broccoli
  • a puree of okara (soy pulp) or regular hard or soft tofu, onion, garlic, and celery (I do this in the food processor)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • sesame oil
  • tomatoes for garnish
Do this:

Heat some sesame oil in a frying pan, add the rice, ham, pork, hamburger, cooked veggies, and the okara puree. Stir and cook till a little bit crispy, then add your eggs and salt and pepper. Fry until the eggs are cooked, then serve with tomatoes and a gingery green smoothie. Eat it in a bowl with a spoon like Japanese folks would do.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

no-cooking-required tropical fruit and ginger compote


I was in a hurry for an easy-to-assemble dessert to end a shrimp curry meal, and quickly wrote "frozen mango" and "ice cream" on my grocery list. Well, something steered me down the baking aisle at Aeon, my local Japanese grocery store, and the baking aisle just happens to have canned fruit on it as well.

A can of pineapple and papaya jumped into my cart, and the rest is yummy-tummy history.

You'll need:
  • one 425 g/15 oz. can of pineapple and papaya (or other tropical fruit) in light syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • one blender
Do this:

Pop the top of the can (I'm not sure why I even brought a can opener with us to Japan--all the lids are poppable with that little convenient ring), dump the contents (including the syrup) into the blender with the lemon juice and ginger. I have a Blendtec, so I just used the sauce setting.

Makes 1 1/2 cups compote.

I can't decide whether I liked this better over chocolate or vanilla ice cream, so I'm going to have to do some more taste tests to really nail it down. 

UPDATE: I've made this again and added 4 t. fresh lemon juice and 1 t. ginger. Much better. Zingier.

Monday, April 21, 2014

dairy-free sugar-free easter cranberry rice pudding


This post (and the kitchen-dabbling that brought it forth) is a welcome relief from planning, packing, and organizing (yet another) international move. This time we're bound for Kanazawa, Japan, on the Japan Sea western side of the country. (Hello, friendly North Korea!)

I loosely based the pud on this recipe from Whole Foods. Feel free to make it your own as well!

(By the way, happy Jesus-Resurrection Sunday!)

You'll need:
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk 
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • a few shakes of nutmeg
  • 7 drops stevia
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • a few dabs of Bonne Maman four fruits preserves, or jam of choice
Do this:

Over medium-high heat, stir the rice, milk, salt, and cinnamon sticks till bubbling. Turn down to simmer (my rice took about 13 minutes), and halfway through the cooking time, add the nutmeg, stevia, vanilla, and cranberries.

When it's nice and softened and the milk has cooked down quite a bit, take it off the heat, serve in your favorite Denby teacups, and top with some jam.

Enjoy with your favorite peeps, and be prepared for those peeps to ask for several more helpings.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

paleo salmon cakes


I've been riffing on salmon cakes for yonks and I've finally hit upon a version that's Paleo, gluten free, and dairy free. And boy, it's yum. All four of us had happy mouths and tummies.

You'll need:

  • 2 16-ounce cans wildcaught salmon (I mash it up with my fingers and crush the bones - great calcium!)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 1/4 red pepper, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • enough sifted coconut flour for binding, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup
  • Chinese mustard powder, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 T. mayo (suggested on can of salmon)
  • 4 t. lemon juice (suggested on can of salmon)
  • plenty of coconut oil
Do this:

Saute your onion, celery, and red pepper in coconut oil till almost tender, then add garlic and finish browning. Watch that the garlic doesn't burn.

In a big honking bowl, combine the salmon, eggs, sauteed veggies, coconut flour, Chinese mustard powder, salt, pepper, mayo, and lemon juice. Form into patties and brown on each side in coconut oil. Drain on paper towels and serve with your favorite homemade coleslaw.

Devour. I know you won't be shy.

And I'm not even fishing for compliments.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

balsamic beef stew

Come closer. Closer. A leetle too close! OK, now can you see the bed of mashed cauliflower under the stew? It's a soft heavenly pillow for this sweet-savory balsamicky concoction. Mmmmm.
  
I make beef stew all the time (and I never make it the same way twice). My slow cooker is my friend, and beef stew just works for me--whatever the season. Summer stew? No problem.

In fact, one of our little beans saw me putting the ingredients in this morning and asked if we could have something different--my response is that it was going to be different! With the addition of two new ingredients (balsamic vinegar and butternut squash), it did end up tasting entirely new. It was gorgeous, especially served on pureed cauliflower.

For the cauliflower mash, you'll need:
  • one head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets, and steamed
  • a few pats of butter, plus salt and pepper, dried parsley, onion and garlic powder, and a few sprinkles of Chinese mustard powder
Do this:

Just take the steamed cauli and toss it into a food processor with the other ingredients. Pulse till smooth and lustrous. Use this as a bed in the bottom of the bowl to spoon your beef stew over.

For the beef stew, you'll need:
  • 1 pound (about 450 g) grassfed stewing beef
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves pulled off the stem and finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a few shakes Chinese spicy mustard powder 
  • salt and pepper 
  • a few sprinkles onion and garlic powder
  • 2 onions, chopped into segments
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 2 small sweet peppers, chopped into strips (I used one orange and one red)
  • several carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 small white potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped bite sized
  • 1 small can (6 oz. or 170 g) of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of beef bouillon paste (or you could use a couple of cubes)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
Do this:

Put all the ingredients into the slow cooker except for the water, tomato paste, and bouillon paste. Whisk those last three ingredients together and pour over the rest in the slow cooker. Stir all ingredients well. I set mine for 5.5 hours on high, and it was perfect.

Here's a tip for you: To clean your slow-cooker insert, pour hot water and baking soda in, let it set for awhile, then wash as usual. Baking soda's great for zapping those stuck-on bits. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

ground beef and broccolified quinoa curry


Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. {Name that film.}

Let's just eat!

A Mamatouille original...

You'll need:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, any color (rice would work here, too)
  • olive oil
  • one head of broccoli, cut into tiny deciduous-treelike florets
  • kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 peeled and grated carrots
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • black peppercorns, for grating
  • 2 t. curry powder
  • 1 t. powdered cumin
  • 1 t. powdered coriander
  • 1/2 t. onion powder (or 1/2 chopped onion--if you use chopped onion, add in with the ground beef and garlic at the beginning of browning in the frying pan)
  • sprinkle of Saigon cinnamon (or regular cinnamon)
  • 1 t. turmeric
  • sprinkle of spicy Chinese mustard powder
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Do this:

Tell your rumblin' tum to simmer down, 'cause you're gonna love the outcome!

Toss your broccoli with some olive oil and roast in a 400-degree oven until soft and fox-colored (as they say in Japanese), about 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle some kosher salt over all.

Meanwhile, rinse your quinoa in a mesh strainer until it stops foamin' (at the mouth), then scrape into a pot on the stove and add two cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer about fifteen minutes, till soft.

As the quinoa and broccoli are doing their thang, brown the ground beef and minced garlic in a frying pan, then add the grated carrots till softened up a bit.

Throw in a pinch of saffron and crumble in a chicken bouillon cube. Continue stirring, and then add freshly grated pepper, curry powder, cumin, coriander, onion powder, a sprinkle of cinnamon (Saigon has a lovely flavor), turmeric, and a sprinkle of Chinese mustard powder. Simmer a few minutes.

Turn the beef mixture down to low, add the broccoli and quinoa, and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over all. Stir, serve in bowls with spoons and little colorful organic heirloom maters.

Generously serves four.

Use your broccoli-roasting oven heat for a good cause: We had a Paleo mixed-berry crumble for dessert. Mmmm, mmmm, deeeeeeeeelish.


Monday, January 6, 2014

kimchi-rockin' breakfast


Come and listen to a story about a breakfast named Eggs...

Poor Eggs was lonely--he never liked to be solitary. So he went to his mama and asked her to help him find some friends.

This is her answer.

Eggs, you'll need:
  • A dollop of bacon fat
  • 2 of your kind
  • A slice of ham
  • Organic dandelion greens, washed and torn into small pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Kimchi 
Do this:

Grab your favorite frying pan, heat her up, melt some bacon fat, and crack yourself and another Egg in. Mama says break the yolks, then put half a piece of ham on top of each egg plus some dandelion greens. Put the lid on and partay! Wait till the Eggs set a bit, then flip the Eggs, ham, and greens. Season and then consume with kimchi.

It was a friend-match made in heaven, and Eggs was so ecstatic about the kimchi that he wrote a little haiku about it:

Crimson, white, and green:
The food flag of Korea
waves joy in my tum!

Friday, October 25, 2013

sweet(ish) and sour meatballs



Well, folks, this is from the Ancient Saved Posts archive from when we lived in Seattle.

Meatballs. No measurements.

Just ingredients: ground beef, garlic, ginger, mirin, soy sauce, apple-cider vinegar, cranberry catsup, cornstarch, apple-grape juice.

I remember they were yummy, not too sweet, and just the right hint of sour. I'm sure I just mashed the ground beef, garlic, and ginger with my hands, formed it into meatballs, and baked till done.

Then I made a sauce with the rest of the ingredients, heated it on the stove, poured it over, and sprinkled on some chopped green onions like confetti.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

eggplant fritters

eggplant fritters resting on a soft cuddly bed of greens and with companions of roasted chicken and green onions, covered with a blanket of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (all very cozy)


This recipe (from Martha Stewart) takes a bit of preplanning and some initial steps, but it's easy to space it out a bit during the day when you have a minute or two in between other activities. And my family declares it's entirely worth the few extra minutes of effort.

One of my beans had fallen in love with an eggplant at the market and begged me to buy it. I remember asking my mom for kiwi at Publix and she always obliged, so how can I say no to fresh produce?

Well, it languished a bit in the fridge drawer and I decided to do something about it--Googling eggplant fritters was like mining for gold and hitting a vein!

Of course I changed the glutenized breadcrumbs for something a little more us, and left out the dairy, so here's the finished product (my changes included).

You'll need:
  • 1 large eggplant (aubergine), about 2.5 pounds
  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T. chopped parsley
  • 3 large eggs, beaten (you need all three because of the coconut flour)
  • 1/4 C. coconut flour
  • 1/4 t. ground cumin
  • 1/4 t. ground coriander
  • a few shakes of Chinese spicy mustard powder (or British mustard)
  • 3/4 t. kosher salt
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • greens 
  • balsamic vinegar for topping
Do this:

Preheat your gihugic 1950s oven to 425 F/220 C and wipe your brow. Whack that big eggplant in half (lengthwise), plop it into a glass Pyrex dish, brush with olive oil, and roast till soft (mine took about 45 minutes, but check yours after 35). Let cool and then scoop that lovely soft flesh out of the royal purple skins (compost those skins), and place the flesh into a colander to drain. When it's dry enough, grab a big mixing bowl and stir up the eggplant, eggs, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, mustard powder, salt, and pepper, then sift the coconut flour over and stir that in as well.

Form into patties and fry in the coconut oil till crispy and wonderful. Drain on paper towels. Ms. Martha suggests grabbing some greens and making a dressing of equal parts olive oil and balsamic, dressing those naked greens, and then placing the fritters on top. We like a little extra protein with ours (see above photo), and have had them with fish or chicken.

I just can't make enough of this to keep my three boy-beans happy and I usually at least double the recipe.

I'd love to hear if you make these and how you like them--maybe we could have a contest to see whose disappear first. I'm bettin' on the beans.